Whoever happens to get off at the line B metro stop Piramide in Rome might be surprised to find an actual pyramid across the road from the main exit of the underground station. Though the only one still standing it was not even the only pyramid in the city during the golden days of the Empire.
Caio Cestio Pyramid Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
(Note that opening times may differ during the Covid-crisis.)
Address: Piazzale Ostiense – Rome (tel. +39 06 39967700). There is a wheelchair entrance at the Via Raffaele Persichetti. Opening hours: On the first saturday and sunday of the month at 10.30 AM, after having visited the Museo della Via Ostiense, it is possible to visit the pyramid, accompanied by a guide. For information and reservations you can call +39 065743193. On the third and fourth saturday and sunday of the month you can visit the Pyramid of Cestius from 11 AM. Admission is 5,50 Euros.
History and description
Especially during the reign of the Emperor August Egypt and everything related to this country was extremely fashionable in Rome, as also shown by the obelisks that can still be admired in many of the city’s main squares.
The Pyramid of Caio Cestio, as it is officially called, was constructed in the year 12 BC and was built as a tomb to the magistrate Caius Cestius.
Unfortunately little is known of Caio Cestio himself (except that he must have been a wealthy man), since the pyramid was plundered several times in the course of the centuries.
Its height is around 36 m and it has a width of almost 30 m. The initial impression is that it is smaller than that, but that is because the streets around it were built at a higher level.
It is made of brick and mortar, covered with a layer of marble from Carrara.
An inscription on the outer wall of the pyramid indicates that construction took 330 days. Later it was incorporated in the Aurelian walls.
Nowadays the pyramid, which displays some interesting frescoes on the inner walls of the burial chamber (only discovered in 1660), can also be visited, but only as part of a guided tour and only after having made a reservation in advance.